Take Action for Puerto Rico!
Ever since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico more than one year ago, supporters of the island and its people have been asking how they can help. At Hispanic Federation, we were on the island immediately after the hurricane delivering relief supplies and supporting local community-based organizations in their reconstruction efforts. Thanks to the generous donations of hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe, our UNIDOS Fund has provided grants to nearly 100 Puerto Rican community groups working to rebuild a more just and resilient Puerto Rico.
But there is much more to do.
Many people care about what they see happening to their fellow Americans and have woken up to the inequities and poor treatment of Puerto Ricans post-Maria, but they do not know how to engage or show their support. That’s why we created the Take Action For Puerto Rico! Campaign, a broad national effort to bring together people and organizations to encourage discussion, germinate ideas, and take action around four critical pillars for Puerto Rico’s recovery: empowered citizenship, health care equity, climate change preparedness, and economic redevelopment.
“We realized early on after Maria, that this was going to be a long and difficult process of reconstruction,” said Hispanic Federation President José Calderón. “We all know that the federal government’s response to the crisis in Puerto Rico has been at best half-hearted and insufficient. And given the fraught political relations between Washington and Puerto Ricans on the island, there is an important role that the diaspora can play in getting Congress to do right by the island. With 200 national partners, and local partners hailing from across the country joining this effort, I know that Congress is going to hear from us loud and clear that we need them to do more for Puerto Rico.”
As part of the Take Action for Puerto Rico! campaign, Hispanic Federation organized a Congressional Advocacy Day on Sept. 20th which resulted in meetings with 15 key congressional and senate offices to let members of Congress know that people in their states care about Puerto Rico and we expect them to continue to fight on its behalf - especially in the new Congress.
“There is no time limit to act on behalf of Puerto Rico,” Calderón added. “The time to act on Puerto Rico and to let members of Congress know that we care about it is now – as candidates are seeking our votes.”